Lending a hand in Chester

CHESTER, Pa. - August 29, 2009 Volunteers and Chester residents pitched in side by side to rid their neighborhood of blight.

A man who lived in one house died last week after 85 years of accumulating the things that made him and the children of the neighborhood happy.

His family would never have been able to do it alone, so that is where the neighborhood came in.

All over the city volunteers were tackling similar jobs.

They've been doing this for seven years now.

"The impact that it's made on the community has been tremendous," cleanup coordinator Donna Davis said.

The organizers and volunteers aren't discouraged by the enormity of the job. They believe every little bit is the start of something big.

"Especially good when you get a lot of people because then all the little small things add up to a big difference," Sara Underwood of Eastern College said.

The cleanup crews know they've got an uphill climb.

"When we come and clean I think even if it's clean for a day, it's going to brighten up the community," Dawn Lucas of Chester said.

College students pitched in alongside people from all walks of life.

They tackled big jobs and small.

"I feel really good. I think it's awesome. I love doing stuff like this. I've been on a bunch of mission trips and I love it. I think it's great to help out," Becca Ortega of Eastern College said.

Joyce Davis got her fence painted, a job she couldn't handle on her own.

It was one more bright spot, adding up to a big difference.

"It does my heart good to know that people really care," Joyce said.

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